I’ve been thinking. (My funny boyfriend: “Nooooooooo!” 😂)
I’ll start with this droll bit:
Either you are well or you are sick.
If you’re well, you have nothing to worry about.
If you’re sick, you only have two things to worry about.
Either you’ll get better, or you’ll die.
If you get better, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
If you die, you’ll only have two things to worry about.
Either you’ll go to heaven, or you’ll go to hell.
If you go to heaven, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
If you go to hell, you’ll be so busy greeting all your old friends, you won’t have time to worry!
That was the “wry amusement” part of this post. Now onto the “food for thought” part.
On that catastrophic Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I couldn’t stop crying. I mourned those I never knew, sobbed and wailed over the terrible, unconscionable loss of life. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, I never turned off CNN; I sat there, slack-jawed in front of the screen, mesmerized by the videos shot in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
Finally on Saturday I ventured out to my 89-year-old mother’s apartment a few kilometres away. I could always rely on her wisdom and support in difficult circumstances. My mom had a PhD in common sense.
After our warm hug-and-kiss greeting, we went and sat in the living room, she in her recliner as usual and me on the end of the sofa near her. I started to cry again, and moaned, “Why, mom! Why! All these poor people dying!” And then I shouted, “Why does anybody have to die, anyway!!!” I paused, wiping my eyes and blowing my nose.
She waited, with a sad little smile, and nodded.
“Yes, I know… but y’see… if nobody died… if everyone lived… we’d run out of food, wouldn’t we? …We’d run out of space, in fact… right?”
Well, she got me there. I raised my head and looked at her face, her eyes. She radiated truth. I understood in that instant. We have to maintain the constant turnover; no room for all on the earth…
But later on, months later, I came to an even more illuminating realization. The thought suddenly struck me one day, that here on earth, and in the earth, are the remains of every single person, every sentient being that ever lived on this planet since the dawn of life. In a sense they are bound to the earth forever. My parents are still here, and so are yours! Even their spirit, their energy, if you will, is present in our memories and in their various legacies. In this way their lives – and ours – will be eternal.
What a concept. It’s good to keep in mind.